Its been called the ‘Duel on the Downs’ as Royal Ascot heroes Toronado and Kingman are due to meet to set the generations against each other in the Sussex Stakes, at Glorious Goodwood on Wednesday, July 30.
The first ‘Duel on the Downs’ saw Frankel stride away from Canford Cliffs in the 2011 QIPCO Sussex Stakes.
Toronado established himself as the best miler of his generation when denying Dawn Approach in last year’s renewal of the mile showpiece, pouncing late under a well-timed ride from Richard Hughes in the second ‘Duel on the Downs’. The four-year-old, trained by Richard Hannon jnr, recently returned from a 300-day absence at Royal Ascot, where he accounted for US import Verrazano and French raider Anodin in the Queen Anne Stakes on June 17.
Shortly afterwards, Kingman silenced any doubters with a scintillating success over his QIPCO 2000 Guineas conqueror Night Of Thunder in the St James’s Palace Stakes. John Gosden’s exciting three-year-old also annexed the Irish 2,000 Guineas by five lengths at the Curragh on May 24. Kingman is owned, like Frankel, by Khalid Abdullah.
A total of 28 horses are engaged in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, including fellow Royal Ascot winners Integral and Mustajeeb. The next scratchings deadline is on Tuesday, July 8 and the Goodwood mile race is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
One of the other highlights during Glorious Goodwood is the £100,000 Group Two Betfred King George Stakes. The five-furlong contest has been won by Ortensia (2012) and Kingsgate Native (2010) in recent years and trainer William Muir is hoping Stepper Pointcan add his name to that roll of honour on Friday, August 1.
The five-year-old captured a five-furlong Listed contest impressively on Polytrack at Lingfield Park in March and produced a top performance at Royal Ascot when repelling all bar Sole Power in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes, also over five furlongs.
In between, he finished third and fourth respectively in pair of Group contests at Longchamp and Chantilly.
Muir reported: “Stepper Point has come out of Ascot incredibly well and we are now looking at Glorious Goodwood.
“Maybe it was a career best at Royal Ascot, but if you go back to the Palace House Stakes he was only beaten a length by Sole Power. The form of that race is very similar to the King’s Stand with Hot Streak in there as well, but obviously people don’t hold the Palace House in the same regard.
“Stepper Point has been running solidly all year and was beaten in France by two very good three-year-olds and Catcall who is obviously the best sprinter over there. All the other British runners that came over for those races were well-beaten, so I think people might be underestimating the French horses.
“Stepper Point has found that consistency this season. We were trying to settle him behind horses last year but we have learnt that he is best when you let him bowl along. He did that in France as a two-year-old and they never got near him. He doesn’t have to lead and can sit second or third but we just let him roll along at the pace he wants to.
“It’s great to have him and the owner is a pleasure to train for. The horse takes us to all the big meetings and never lets us down. It’s very enjoyable and that’s what racing is all about.”
About Glorious Goodwood
The first day of Glorious Goodwood gets underway on Tuesday, July 29, as spectacular horseracing, panama hats and fashion flood the racecourse. The highlight on the course is the Group Two bet365 Lennox Stakes over seven furlongs.
The Group One QIPCO Sussex Stakes, which highlights the second day of the meeting, is regarded as one of the best mile races in the world, a thrilling show of ruthless power and sheer speed will determine who will reign as champion.
Ladies’ Day on the Thursday of Glorious week provides the perfect opportunity for fashion lovers to showcase their summer style as a sea of floral dresses, wedged heels and panama hats make their way through the gates. As well as the historic Group Two Artemis Goodwood Cup, 2014 will, for the third year running, host the annual celebrity ladies’ race, the Magnolia Cup.
Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3, round off the week in style, with Friday’shighlight race being the Group Two King George Stakes over five furlongs. Ever competitive, excitement captures the crowd as the thoroughbreds take to the track in this fast-paced race.
The grand finale ensures Glorious goes down with a bang on Saturday as the Group One Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes welcomes the best mares and fillies to battle it out for the 2014 title. Also on the card is one of the most competitive betting races of the season, the six-furlong Stewards’ Cup.
Glorious Goodwood, full of thrills, spills and show-stopping glamour, is set once again to deliver an unbeatable five days and continues its unrivalled reputation as the pinnacle of the summer’s social and sporting calendar.